When meeting with small business owners to assist with their branding or marketing I regularly ask, "do you have a budget". Repeatedly I'm told "No, we do not have a budget"!
At first, I thought these were isolated incidents, but have come to the conclusion that this is all too common. And, the size of the business doesn't change the "no" answer I often get.
As you would expect, small businesses that are just starting out and have no annual sales to speak of often do not have a marketing budget, although they should. But what truly surprises me is that companies of all sizes who have been in business for one to five years also have this same issue. I recently asked a fairly new company of less than 2 years with a $5 MM annual revenue the same question, and got the same answer…no.